MPN to Rework, Simplify Sit-and-Go Offerings

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The Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) is getting set to clean up its Sit-and-Go offerings at the end of the month in order to both make games easier to find and more enjoyable for players. On Thursday, Microgaming’s Head of Poker Alex Scott detailed the changes, along with some of the reasoning, in a blog post.

Scott began by admitting that MPN’s tournament offerings, scheduled or Sit-and-Go, have been confusing, mainly because of the sheer number of different types. Several years ago, scheduled tournaments were extremely perplexing, as terminology used in one did not necessarily have the same definition in another. In 2014, the tournaments were revamped to standardize things. Sit-and-Go’s, however, were not reworked, so terminology (“Super Turbo” was given as an example) was not consistent between Sit-and-Go’s and scheduled tournaments.

One set of changes coming up at the end of the month is to create a parallel between scheduled tourneys and Sit-and-Go’s. Thus, here is what players will be able to expect in two weeks when looking for the Sit-and-Go game:

•    Regular and Turbo SNGs will now have 2,000 starting chips (was 1,500). Super Turbo SNGs will still have 500 starting chips.
•    In Turbo tournaments:
o    You will now have 18 seconds to act instead of 15
o    You will get 30 seconds time bank instead of 15
o    Levels will be 6 minutes long instead of 5
•    In Super Turbo tournaments:
o    You will now have 18 seconds to act instead of 15
o    You will get 15 seconds time bank instead of 10
o    Levels will be 3 minutes long instead of 2

Scott then tackles Double Up Sit-and-Go’s, which are Sit-and-Go’s in which the game stops after half the field is eliminated, with the remaining players winning double their buy-in. I used to like, but admittedly, they can get boring, as nobody wants to slip up before the money. The other issue they can have is collusion, stemming from the fact that it doesn’t matter how many chips a player has once half the field is gone, as all remaining players win the same prize. Alex Scott explains it as follows:

There are two reasons that collusion is a particular problem in Double Ups. First, colluders have a bigger edge in Double Ups than most other formats. A single ‘stack balance’ (one colluder intentionally losing chips to a partner to keep them in the game), or a little bit of soft play, can be the difference between winning and losing. Second, proving that collusion actually occurred in a Double Up can be tricky, because the complex strategy that Double Ups require often looks similar to collusion. Reviewing suspected collusion in Double Ups therefore takes a lot longer than it does in other formats.

Rather than get rid of Double Ups completely, though, MPN is going to raise the rake in an effort to weed them out. Whereas the fees on Sit-and-Go’s have been 10 percent across the board, the fee on Double Ups will be increased to 15 percent at most stakes and 20 percent at the three lowest stakes. It will stay the same on the very most expensive tournaments.

On all Sit-and-Go’s, though, fees will mostly go down. Turbo, Super Turbo, and Heads-Up Sit-and-Go’s will all see their fee percentages decrease at the vast majority of stakes, with the current 10 percent fee being the worst case scenario. Regular Sit-and-Go’s will stay the same except for the highest stakes (€200), which will decrease to 7.5 percent.

Lastly, Scott noted that multi-table Sit-and-Go’s and Super Bounty Sit-and-Go’s (where the entire prize pool consists of bounties) will be introduced on a trial basis, while some other formats will be introduced on an A/B test basis, meaning that of two choices, whichever is most popular will stay. The A/B tests:

•    Super Turbos where the blinds increase every three minutes versus Super Turbos where the blinds increase every six hands
•    Double Ups versus Survivor Sit-and-Go’s. In Survivor games, the player with the smallest chip stack is eliminated after every blind level. Like in Double Ups, the game will end when half the field is gone.

All changes will take effect on February 29th.

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